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Failure by Design
     

Failure by Design

5.0 1
by Josh Bivens, Lawrence Mishel (Foreword by)
 

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In Failure by Design, the Economic Policy Institute's Josh Bivens takes a step back from the acclaimed State of Working America series, building on its wealth of data to relate a compelling narrative of the U.S. economy's struggle to emerge from the Great Recession of 2008. Bivens explains the causes and impact on working Americans of the most catastrophic

Overview

In Failure by Design, the Economic Policy Institute's Josh Bivens takes a step back from the acclaimed State of Working America series, building on its wealth of data to relate a compelling narrative of the U.S. economy's struggle to emerge from the Great Recession of 2008. Bivens explains the causes and impact on working Americans of the most catastrophic economic policy failure since the 1920s.

As outlined clearly here, economic growth since the late 1970s has been slow and inequitably distributed, largely as a result of poor policy choices. These choices only got worse in the 2000s, leading to an anemic economic expansion. What growth we did see in the economy was fueled by staggering increases in private-sector debt and a housing bubble that artificially inflated wealth by trillions of dollars. As had been predicted, the bursting of the housing bubble had disastrous consequences for the broader economy, spurring a financial crisis and a rise in joblessness that dwarfed those resulting from any recession since the Great Depression. The fallout from the Great Recession makes it near certain that there will be yet another lost decade of income growth for typical families, whose incomes had not been boosted by the previous decade's sluggish and localized economic expansion.

In its broad narrative of how the economy has failed to deliver for most Americans over much of the past three decades, Failure by Design also offers compelling graphical evidence on jobs, incomes, wages, and other measures of economic well-being most relevant to low- and middle-income workers. Josh Bivens tracks these trends carefully, giving a lesson in economic history that is readable yet rigorous in its analysis. Intended as both a stand-alone volume and a companion to the new State of Working America website that presents all of the data underlying this cogent analysis, Failure by Design will become required reading as a road map to the economic problems that confront working Americans.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Bivens succeeds at exposing the 'cracked foundation' of the economy . . .: falling wages, assaults on unionism, globalization for workers and insulation for elites, the rise of the nonproductive financial sector, and the abandonment of full employment as a policy target. In graph after carefully and simply explained graph, Bivens walks the reader through the historical trajectory of these and other economic developments that have come to define the current situation."—Cecilio Morales, America (29 August 2011)

"In this useful and timely work, Bivens provides an assessment that will clarify for many the widely held view that the current 'great recession' need not have occurred but rather was due to government policy errors. These included minimum wage erosion by inflation; weakening of laws governing unions and collective bargaining; globalization that benefitted the already privileged; and slow growth of wages and income at the middle of the income distribution . . . . Summing up: Highly recommended."—Choice (January 2012)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801450150
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
01/13/2011
Series:
Economic Policy Institute Book Series
Pages:
120
Sales rank:
757,657
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Josh Bivens has been an economist at the Economic Policy Institute since 2002. He is the author of Failure by Design: The Story behind America's Broken Economy and coauthor of The State of Working America, 12th Edition, both from Cornell.

Lawrence Mishel is the president of the Economic Policy Institute and its research director from 1987 to 1999. He is the coauthor of every edition of The State of Working America.

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Failure by Design 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
AnObserver More than 1 year ago
This book is a concise presentation on the path taken by the U.S. to its present state of economic difficulty. The text is short but lucid. The book includes many graphs that illustrate a variety of factors related to U.S. economic welfare. These may be a problem for some readers, but the text easily stands alone and the graphs can be bypassed if necessary.